Sunday 20 April 2014

RTE presenter defends decision to kill turkey on TV

*Ear to the Ground series 21 will continue on Thursday  2nd January 2014 (there will be no tx on December 26th)

The key question at the heart of our Food Journeys series is where does our food come from? Ella Mc Sweeney cuts right to the chase when it comes to her Christmas dinner. She pays a visit to Eoin Sharkey, a free-range turkey farmer in Meath, and is prepared to kill one of his flock with her bare hands! Sharkey supplies all of his birds direct to the consumer, and remembers customers by the name of the bird he has sold them, rather than their own name! This Christmas, in the battle of presenter versus turkey, who will come out on top?
Eoin Sharkey and Ella McSweeney on the turkey farm

RTE presenter Ella McSweeney says it took her eight seconds to strangle a turkey for her TV show.

Ella McSweeney decided to show viewers how the bird ends up on their Christmas plate -- by killing one in front of the cameras.

The move has been criticised by animal rights organisations but the 'Ear to the Ground' host told the Irish Independent that she would do it again.

"I am a meat eater so as long as it's done respectfully it's pretty straight forward for me," Ms McSweeney added.

Prior to the airing of last night's episode, The Animal Rights Action Network called on 'Ear to the Ground' to remove the scene because they felt there was "nothing traditional about killing a fully conscious, sentient animal who, like any dog or cat, values their life too".

However, Ms McSweeney feels that her extensive knowledge of the food chain process shows more care and respect for the animal's rights and what she is eating.

"It is something that I do to make sure I am ok with being a meat eater.

"If I wasn't able to kill the bird I wouldn't be able to eat it and that's the way I look at it. It's a personal thing."

Irish Independent

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